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8361: gas stoves and economics (fwd)
>Distributing free gas stoves may be feasible, but only the state can subsidize
> natural gas below market prices. The state, and only the state, can develop
> a national road or rail construction program.
I need to comment on gas stoves. Gaz is of two types, kerosene or gaz blanc,
and propane or gaz bip. Bip is a brand name for a propane distributor I gather.
Kerosene stoves are cheap and cooking with kerosene is far cheaper than using
charcoal. I have conducted this experiment with my own adopted family in
St Marc. I bought a kerosene vapor stove for my sister Telisean. She loves it.
When she is broke however, she will go buy 4 or 5 gourdes worth of charcoal to
cook a meal with. A liter of gaz blanc costs 25 gou or so.
This stove does require practice to get going, and Teliseans mama cannot
Last february I gave mama 500 U$ dollars and told her to buy a propane stove
for herself if she wanted one. I finally realized that my buying things like
this makes them seem free. Duh, I am slow. So, she budgeted from actual money
which could be used for anything. She bought a propane stove.
One refill of propane for a '5 pound' bottle costs 20 $ht. 100 gou.
The first bottle lasted almost three weeks, the second less than 10 days.
This was puzzling, and troubling. Perhaps the store gives you an actual
full bottle when you buy the equipment, but refills aren't pressurized
as much? Dunno.
Anyway, even tho it ends up costing 10 gourdes a day for propane, she
thinks that it is still cheaper than charcoal.
So, I've heard many people say that chacoal is cheaper than propane and
kero, but my people on the ground do not think so. The problem is, with
close to absolute poverty, keeping the 5 gou a meal that would have been
spent on chabon in the pot to buy a refill, or another liter of kero is
What is needed is a political campaign to get folks to prefer to use
the 'modern, clean' method of cooking. Advertisements by companies
work pretty well. They think that a propane stove is modern and
I have not seen any political program on heat production to go along
with the condom and family planning programs.